How to Measure Gun Barrel Length

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Whether people are shooting handguns, muzzleloaders, rifles or shotguns, they often want to know the length of the gun barrel. There are a variety of reasons for this. Competitive shooters risk disqualification if their gun barrel is not the proper length. Many states regulate the size of guns hunters can use. Hunters caught using illegally sized barrels could find themselves in trouble with the law. People who need to measure the length of the barrel of their gun can do so in a short period of time.

Items you will need

  • Wooden rod

  • Pen

  • Tape measure

Unload the weapon. If you believe it is already unloaded, double check to make sure there is no ammunition in the chamber or magazine.

Cock the weapon as if you were going to fire a live round.

Insert a wooden rod into the end of the barrel. Dowels that are slightly smaller in width than the opening of the barrel work well.

Push the rod into the barrel until it cannot be pushed any further. Use the pen to mark the spot where the wooden rod comes out of the gun barrel.

Measure from the spot you marked to the end of that part of the rod that was inside the gun barrel. The number is the length of the barrel.

About the Author

Larry Anderson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He has covered a wide variety of topics, from golf and baseball to hunting and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including "Fargo Forum" newspaper. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from Concordia College.

Photo Credits

  • Andy Reynolds/Lifesize/Getty Images